ISLAMABAD                   -             The Islamabad High Court on Thursday has ordered the release of 25 suspects in NAB custody including Hussain Lawai in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the orders. “The court issuing release orders in the wake of a novel coronavirus in the country,” remarked IHC chief Justice Athar Minallah.

Those released under the order included Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza, Liaquat Qaimkhani, Mustafa Zulqarnain, and others. The suspects were under trial for various offences, including corruption in the fake bank accounts case.

Lawai, who is said to be a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, facing inquiry in an Rs35 billion money laundering case, was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on July 6 in 2018.

FIA officials said that 32 people, including Lawai, were being investigated for laundering billions of rupees through fictitious bank accounts.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had earlier granted bail to 408 prisoners imprisoned at Adiala Jail under minor offences amid coronavirus fears.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah approved bail petitions of the prisoners.

The bench also constituted a committee to materialize the release of 408 prisoners on bail. The committee included Director General Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), deputy commissioner, I.G. Police and other concerned officials.

The IHC directed the deputy commissioner to appoint an officer to oversee the matters pertaining to surety bonds of the detainees.